PetroSA extends southern gas hunt

South African state-owned oil and gas company PetroSA will press ahead with appraisal and development work on the F-O field on offshore Block 9 as part of a 5 billion rand ($513,000) exploration programme seeking reserves for its gas-to-liquids at Mossel Bay.

The company said in its annual report that an appraisal well on F-O had been delayed due to other drilling and would now be drilled in mid-2009 as part of the Project Jabulani exploration initiative. The well would be designed to be re-entered as a development well if necessary, said Everton September, PetroSA’s vice president of upstream ventures, in the report. He said wells on the field, off the country’s southern coast, might require fracture stimulation to enhance flows. This would be the first use of hydraulic fracturing in South Africa and help potential to unlock other tight gas reserves off the country’s southern coast. September said first gas from F-O was expected in 2011. He said preliminary studies for the design and installation of subsea production systems and tie-backs to existing infrastructure were already underway. PetroSA’s Project Jabulani, announced in the past financial year, comprises an eight-well drilling programme aimed at extending the life of the Mossel Bay plant from 2010 to 2014.

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